wan-na find something?

Friday, May 29, 2015

not our first (or even second) rodeo

it's hard to believe that this is the third year that the bean has participated in her school's end-of-the-year rodeo.  it's even harder to believe that she's all done with the first grade now, and when the school year starts again, she'll be with the bigger kids and on the longer schedule.  seems like just yesterday that i was all anxious about sending her off to preschool for 3 hours a day, 3 days a week.

we managed to find a fun pair of (cheap) boots at target, and squeezed her bum into last year's overalls...just barely.

as i looked at her, i realized that she really has grown up since last year.  she's lost all traces of the baby face...waaaaaaah.

i was a little bummed to see that the petting zoo and pony rides weren't there this time around, but she didn't seem to be too fazed by their absence.  i guess when you're with your friends and there's no more work to be done, you make fun out of anything.

of course, i had to get in on the photo op action.

after all, it's the one time of year that my shitkickers get to come out and play.

the kids loved filling up on the buffet that was laid out for them.  chips and juice boxes galore...although there were a good handful of them who opted in on the watermelon and carrots, too.

all that grub was topped off with some sugary treats that should have been perfect, except that it was one of those may gray days.  no sun, all clouds, cooler temperatures.  they didn't care, though.  popsicles are good anytime.

and next year at this time, no more rodeo!  yay!!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

triumphant return to the land

because we weren't sure of exactly when we were going to be able to activate them, we didn't tell the bean that we'd renewed our disneyland annual passes.  i mean, come on - while she's a good girl for the most part, she's still 7.  i wasn't really all about the idea of having to hear "but mommy, when are we going to goooooo?" every hour.

and while the notion of going to disneyland on a holiday weekend sounds like insanity, i think the old lady and i were kind of just done waiting.  out of the 3 days, we decided that sunday would be the best option, and although she had to work till 1 that afternoon, we figured it would be okay since the bean didn't have school the next day and we could stay late.  plus, they just unveiled the new "paint the night" parade and a new fireworks show for their 60th anniversary, so we wanted to be there at night anyway.

while we waited for the old lady to get home, the bean and i spent our morning hanging out and relaxing.  and how grown up does she look with her hair down?

when her sister finally got home, she was more than ready to get out of the house.  we still hadn't told her what we were going to do, but she figured it out because she's a smart cookie like that.  and there's the fact that we're just not very good liars.  heh.  so we piled into the car and chattered excitedly about all the things we wanted to do all the way down to anaheim.

the first order of business was activating our new passes.  because disneyland decided that they're no longer going to offer the option of adding parking, the hub sprung for the premium passes for the old lady and me.  the bean got our usual deluxe-level pass, which has a handful of blockout dates throughout the year.  sunday was one of them, but when you're activating a new annual pass, you're allowed to do so on a blockout date.

seriously, you guys, it was like coming home.

and because it's still her birthday month and these passes were part of her birthday gift, the old lady stopped and got herself her traditional birthday button.  she'd been so sad at the thought of not being able to get one this year, so this made her extra happy.

meanwhile, the bean eyed cruella de vil warily from a distance.

first ride of the day:

don't let that scared face (nor that wait time on the sign) fool you.  this is her most favorite ride in the whole park, and we were on it in just over half that amount of time.

oh, yeah, and i'd busted out my runDisney cinderella shoes for the special occasion.

we found a fun photo op when we exited the ride, and of course we had to stop.  duh.

haunted mansion was next.  i think this may be my next runDisney race costume.

maybe for the bean, too.

for a crowded, busy holiday weekend, we were able to get on a pretty good number of rides.

this was amusing.  they're banned from all rides and attractions because people just can't have nice things, apparently.

dinner was here:

and with time to kill before our fastpass time for indiana jones, we headed over to autopia, where the bean was happy to chauffeur me around.

we'd timed things so that we could hopefully watch the fireworks that started at 9:30 and then slide right in and see the new parade.  unfortunately, it didn't quite work out that way.  those holiday crowds that we'd thought weren't so bad...were.  the entire main street area was so clogged with people that our only view of the new show was at the very last 5 minutes, and we didn't even get to see fireworks - just the projections they were doing onto the buildings.

it sure looked like a great show, and we'll have to go back when it's not as insane.  although with summer coming and the plethora of folks coming in to see all of the 60th celebration brouhaha, it'll probably be packed from now till september.  and trying to make our way back up the street to find a spot for the parade?  fuhgeddaboutit.  didn't happen.  we were stuck in a crush of people and strollers that didn't move and was incredibly frustrating.  i couldn't help but wonder how the cast members would handle it if a fire broke out or something.  we'd all be dead, for real.

we finally just gave up and headed over to take the bean for her first time on the indiana jones ride.

and then star tours.

i gotta hand it to her - she rode a lot of things she'd been scared of before, and she hung in there like a trooper till midnight.  yup, we closed the joint.  and then she fell asleep standing up as we waited for the tram to take us back to the parking structure.

that's what i call a successful day at the land.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

sticking to tradition

celebrating the old lady's entrance into her 20s continued on after the bean and the hub got home from their daily activities.  when we got home, she found a fun surprise waiting on the doorstep from her special friend:

speaking of her special friend, he'd also had a lovely little blue box delivered to her a few days prior.

on our way out to the valley to have dinner at her favorite place, she opened the other presents that were waiting for her.  one of the things she'd asked for was a pair of these hideous things:

and the bean had picked something out for her sister that she'd been planning for ages - a cat.  alas, not a real one as mollydog would definitely not allow such a thing in the house.

having birthday dinner here has become quite a tradition.  despite the hour-long drive, the old lady always wants to have pasta at good ol' chi-chi's.

i'm not gonna lie - i won't ever fight her on this one.  it's an old favorite, and i'll pretty much never turn down a chance to grub down on fresh rolls and some house made shells and meat sauce.

the hub decided to go the healthier route and tried the whole wheat rigatoni instead.  while we teased him about how turd-like his entreĆ© looked, it actually didn't taste much different from the regular pasta.

everyone's happy at chi-chi's.

also a birthday tradition is dessert afterwards - hawaiian-style shave ice from this place that started out as a food truck:

i suppose it doesn't matter how old you get - a full day of birthday shenanigans will always put you to
sleep, especially when you're comfy in the backseat of a moving car.  and cuddling a stuffed animal.

seems like just yesterday, huh?


squeezing in all the sightseeing

this was our NYC home for a whole week: it was one of only a few hotels that i could find that offered two beds in a room rather than, say, ...